Wireless carrier AT&T sets date for U.S. BlackBerry release

DALLAS – A month and a half after its Canadian and U.K. launch, the new BlackBerry is finally hitting store shelves in the United States.

Wireless carrier AT&T Inc. says it will begin presales of the BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone on Tuesday, leading up to an official release on March 22.

The company says the phone will sell for US$199.99 under a two-year contract.

A perceived success in the U.S. smartphone market is considered key to the new BlackBerrys.

The U.S. is where Apple’s iPhone is most dominant and where Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 are gaining traction.

The BlackBerry release date comes as Samsung prepares to unveil its latest Galaxy smartphone at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Thursday.

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